The Community Engagement Design and Research (CEDaR) Center provides planning and design services, supports educational programs and conducts applied research on problems in the built environment. The CEDaR Center is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to the development of solutions that are socially responsive and ecologically sound.

CEDaR serves as a resource center for community engagement, urban management and design in collboration with faculty in the Program in Environmental Design (ENVD) and other entities within and outside of the University of Colorado Boulder.

The center works at the community level and larger regional scale, with an emphasis on issues of sustainability, and participatory planning and design of housing and public spaces. It carries out funded research in these areas and responds to requests for services from public and private agencies and community-based interest groups.

CEDaR is a collaborative of more than 20 faculty and staff around multiple projects. Following are selected examples of our work. 


In 2019-2020, CEDaR staff, partners, faculty and students further developed design concepts for the key Community Living Room and St. Stephens Plaza projects took shape. The partnership completed renewal of much of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse artwork and began work to conceptualize and initiate the community/civic area integration effort. We began working with the city of Lyons on several local planning problems leading to possible proposals for the sculpture garden and other concepts that may be suitable for a future Workshop effort. Based on a partnership with two local governments and the Colorado Coalition of Mobile Home Owners, we began a process of updating Trailer Wrap I with a new demonstration of energy-efficient, low-cost and beautiful manufactured housing renovations that could serve as a model for mobile home communities nationwide. This is another project that may emerge over the next year as a future workshop proposal.  


In 2018-2019, CEDaR staff, partners and faculty initiated the Dushanbe Teahouse partnership, bringing artistic, design and historical resources from the University to a collaboration around the reconceptualization of the Teahouse in relation to the broader civic area. The Teahouse is a regional treasure and will benefit from renewal of its artwork and deeper integration into the Boulder community and civic area using concepts that bridge Boulder and Central Asian culture such as arid-climate landscaping, sustainable architecture methods and public space design. Multiple studios and seminars were held during 2018-2019 on the three projects described in this proposal. CEDaR faculty and staff also engaged in other neighborhood planning efforts that may result in future Community Design Workshop proposals including an effort to revitalize manufactured housing communities and an initiative by the Growing Up Boulder program of CEDaR to integrate children’s voices into neighborhood planning.  


In 2017-2018, CEDaR initiated an evaluation of the Mapleton Mobile Home Community Trailer Wrap project implemented previously by our faculty. We began the evaluation of growth and student-resident conflicts on University Hill, with the participation of more than 200 students in at least four classes each year. Products emerging from this evaluation included proposals for urban design elements, and neighborhood conservation and green infrastructure plans. CEDaR also sponsored a studio that designed and constructed a sculptural form that supported seating and skateboarding in a park near the Fraser Meadows Senior Center. Another studio developed conceptual designs for an affordable housing project and small downtown area at Silverthorne Colorado. CEDaR also organized two neighborhood planning studios in low-income and immigrant neighborhoods in Denver.